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Professor uses facial recognition to spot bored students

He’ll know if his presentation is putting you off.

A Chinese professor has created a facial-recognition program to read his students’ faces and try to determine if they are interested or bored while being in class. Wei Xiaoyong, science professor at the Sichuan University, formulated a “face reader” aiming to identify people’s emotions. His invention generates a “curve” that will lean either to “happy” or “neutral” to help in indicating if the student is uninterested or enjoying the class.

Professor Wei says this data could be used to study -and improve- the way classes and contents are being taught and how to draw and keep students’ attention. He began using a face-tracking device five years ago to take daily record of attendance. He frequently forgot to do this, so he started to rely on technology to get this “boring” job done.

Now, Prof Wei has encouraged some of his colleges in other universities to use this same system of “emotion-analyzing proto-type”. It is still not completely flawless but it has been successful enough. Wei says it could be used with other purposes in near future, like “for a range of social sciences, psychological work and by educational researches”.

Currently, facial recognition has become very popular in China. For example, Uber has already implemented this technology there. Also, the world’s first ATM with facial recognition was installed in China last year. According to its sponsors it “ensures the greater security of card owners”.

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